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US-China Relations

Global Times: The U.S. House Just Passed a Bill to Destroy Taiwan

Global Times recently published a commentary right after the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Taiwan Travel Act. The Act encourages exchange visits between the United States and Taiwan on “all levels.” If this Act were to be signed into law, it would signal a fundamental change in U.S. Taiwan policies. It would allow high ranking Taiwanese government officials, such as the President, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, and the Minister of Defense to visit the United States. The current law in effect, the Taiwan Relations Act, has governed the flexible relationship between the States and Taiwan for decades. It does ban the high-level exchange visits of government officials. Although the Senate has not yet passed the Taiwan Travel Act, the fact that it was even discussed in the House used to be flat out unimaginable. A lot of “power players” in the U.S. wish they could reactivate the Taiwan issue to gamble with China. However, the time for the U.S. to dominate Taiwan Strait affairs has long ended. The new law could lead to a broken balance that would force China to take actions big enough to cause the same level of damage to the U.S. In fact, a potential military move could destroy Taiwan.

Source: Global Times, January 10, 2018

Global Times: To Rise, China Needs to Fight another 30 Years of “Protracted Battle”

Wang Wen, Executive Dean of the Chongyang Finance Institute at Renmin University of China, published an article evaluating China’s rise relative to the current world powers. The article said, “Over the past decade, the most popular academic view of the world’s changing situation is the rise of emerging countries and the decline of established developed countries. However, judging from the share of the total national economy in the global total, the actual situation is more complicated and subtle.”

“The so-called ‘readjustment of the global economic and financial structure’ in the past decade is actually a structural adjustment between China and the established powers of Western Europe and Japan. It has not shaken the status of the United States.”

“Although there is no real shake-up of the U.S. economic status, it is undeniable that the global financial crisis has hit the soft power of the United States. Over the past decade, the world has constantly criticized the loopholes in the U.S. financial regulatory system and reflected on the shortcomings of the democratic and liberal system in the United States. In the course of criticism and reflection, the self-confidence of the Chinese society has gradually recovered. Especially in recent years, China has hosted the G20 Summit, the Summit on the International Cooperation of the Belt and Road Initiative, the BRIC Leaders’ Summit, and the Summit of the Chinese Communist Party and the World Political Parties, prompting more and more countries to recognize and adopt the ‘China proposal.’ There are even many countries that try to follow China’s example.”

“However, the Chinese people must be soberly aware that the gradual recognition of the ‘China proposal’ is only the first step toward the ‘great march of longevity’ for the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation and does not mean that the road to rejuvenation has come to an end. China’s overall strength is still far behind the United States, the only superpower in the world. It will still take a long time to catch up and surpass it. It will take time for China’s rise to be convincing to the world.”

“The real remodeling of the international system is subtle and difficult and is entering a long ‘protracted battle,’ meaning that the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation has also entered into a ‘protracted battle’ that will go on for about 30 more years.”

Source: Global Times, January 9, 2018

Xinhua: “U.S. Priorities” and Trump’s “Addition and Subtraction” Policy

Xu Changyin, a researcher at the Xinhua News Agency’s Center for World Studies, said that the “adjustment” of U.S. foreign policy after Trump assumed office can be summed up as “addition and subtraction.” “Subtraction” is less responsibility for international obligations and less investment abroad. “Addition” is exporting more U.S. products, especially U.S. arms.

Internally, the “adjustment” that Trump provided can be summed up as “three minuses and one plus,” reducing immigration, reducing administrative expenses, cutting taxes, and increasing the national defense budget.

Xu Changyin said that it is noteworthy that Trump had in fact made some “adjustments” compared to his aggressive slogan, before taking office. For example, politicians and the media in the United States have strongly discouraged his desire to improve relations with Russia. An important goal of his improving relations with Russia was to contain China.

Not long ago, Trump made the first “National Security Strategy Report.” He explicitly listed China as a “strategic rival” of the United States. However, Xu Changyin believed that there is still room for the expansion of Sino-U.S. co-operation, especially in the economic field. Xu Changyin said that Trump, occupied with his “U.S. priority” mentality, is obsessed with the U.S. trade deficit with China. The possibility of a “trade war” has always existed.

Source: Xinhua, December 30, 2017

VOA Chinese: China Construction Sued in New York

Voice of America (VOA) Chinese recently reported that BML Properties sued China Construction America (CCA), the U.S. branch of China’s largest construction company, for fraud in the project of constructing the Baha Mar Resort, located in Nassau, capital of the Bahamas. BML accused CCA of using large-scale deception in order to significantly delay the completion of the US$3.5 billion resort program. BML is seeking damages of US$2.25 billion. BML declared that CCA submitted hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of forged invoices and intentionally created a situation involving a lack of construction workers. CCA also moved equipment and workers to another construction site that BML’s competitor managed. During the construction period, a large number of Chinese government officials visited the United States and the Baha Mar Resort. CCA also billed for their travel and tourist costs, which were largely unrelated to the construction project (such as tickets to the Empire State Building). BML filed for bankruptcy in 2015 due to the major delay in the construction work, and the bankruptcy caused S&P to lower the Bahamas’ sovereign rating. BML also sued CCA in the High Court of Great Britain.

Source: VOA Chinese, December 28. 2017

Global Times: China Is Serious about the Possible U.S. Naval Visits to Taiwan

Global Times recently reported that U.S. President Trump just signed the Fiscal Year 2018 National Defense Authorization Act, which includes an “assessment of the possibility” of authorizing navy vessels to conduct mutual visits between Taiwan and the United States. Lu Kang, the spokesperson for the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said in a press briefing that, while the Taiwan sections of the Act are not legally binding, they seriously violate the “One China” policy and “constitute an interference in China’s internal affairs.” China is resolutely opposed to this, and has already lodged stern representations with the U.S. government. The Defense Act also includes Taiwan-related items like inviting the Taiwanese military to join the U.S. “Red Flag” military exercises. For many years, China has been against any form of official relationship between the United States and Taiwan, especially any military relationship.

Source: Global Times, December 14, 2017

Xinhua: The Impact of the Trump Tax Cut Needs Attention

Xinhua recently published a commentary after the U.S. Senate passed its version of the Trump Tax Cut bill. The commentary started with expressing doubt as to whether the U.S. House and Senate will be able to consolidate their two bills into one in time for Christmas because there are “big gaps on many details.” The commentary suggested that no one should overreact to the Trump Tax Cut since Obama had already started the tax reform before Trump took office and that the U.S. middle class and below could get “angry” about the new Tax Cut that mostly benefits the wealthy. This could mobilize the base of the Democratic Party to vote. So it is questionable how big the long-term impact will really be. However, the commentator expressed the strong belief that the U.S. tax cut could really intensify a wave of “tax cut competition” across the globe, which will worsen the financial situation of many nations. The United States should not be the one to trigger double-taxation and disruption to global supply-chains. Instead, the United States should be the leader of international tax coordination.

Source: Xinhua, December 4, 2017

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